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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello and Happy Tuesday Ponyland,

So thank you for taking the time to read my thread in advance. So many knowledgeable people here, I know I'll get some great advice.

For starters, I'm a first time horse owner had been leasing for about a year and decided to jump in full hearted. Found a horse for sale that had been rescued from terrible condition. That being said, I felt comfortable picking up a horse that had 6 months of rehab under her belt. (She had been terribly emaciated and her feet are still growing out some terribly splayed hooves. Had some hoof wall separation but I'm cleaning daily and using coppertox to keep them from getting thrushy). All in all, she's a health and happy mare. She's 11 years old, so was able to bounce back well with good care.

She's had her first worming with me, started with Ivermectrin and found a rotational deworming chart online:

Deworming Rotation Schedule and Worm Facts

I'll be deworming with Safeguard next (I've had GREAT success with this one on my dogs--same active ingredients)

Anyways, she's 15.3 1/2 hands, just under 16 hands high. A big gentle giant. She is (per my weight tape) about 916lbs. Very thin still. I didn't get her weight when I got her two months ago, totally should have. My understanding is that she should be in the ballpark of 1100-1200 lbs.

The barn has her on 2 flakes alfalfa in the morning and 2 flakes of oat in the evening I believe. I've been doing one big scoop (not a lot, didn't want to make her hot or initiate other health issues) of all in one (alfalfa shredded with molasses) with her one big scoop of biotin plus for her feet. I don't think this is going to help her weight and I've spoken to the barn about adding STABLE FEED (Mix of forage grasses, vitamins and a well balanced feed without molasses) to her diet and taking out the all in one.

My question is this. I would like her to gain at least those 200lbs.

1. How much time should she gain this weight? I'm hoping to get it on her before the winter comes--or is that too fast?

2. How many pounds per day (of low sugar feed) should I add to her current morning and evening ration of hay? I don't want to overfeed her and make her sick--which is why I'm staying away from heavy grains and alfalfa and molasses.

Thank you all, this is a fine, fine community of knowledgeable horse people!!

Che
 

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I'd try upping her hay intake, if possible I like to see a horse on hay 24/7 well.. Not when they are turned out grass but in a stall, yeah always with hay. Unless it gets overweight easy but it doesn't sound like yours has that problem right now
 

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The 1st thing I would do is increase the oat hay. My horses are not thin and smaller and get at least 6 flakes of hay per day. If you have a type of horse like a TB they need more feed than say a Morgan might. I have seen very thin horses get to a nice wieght in just a few months. I feed safe choice and a horse in light work and avearge weight should get approx. 3 pds of grain per day. A thin horse could get double that easily. Do you have a nutritionist in your area? They usually come out and make feed recomendations at no charge. YOur vet should be able to suggest someone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply!!

How much weight is too much weight, too fast? Is 200 lbs in 3-4 months a reasonable augmentation? I'm all about adding MORE natural food into her diet.

She is stalled as she's such a gentle giant, the other mares in the mare pasture would probably run her into the wire--at the very least kick her butt. Very dominant females, but I do get out every day to round pen her and get her out. :D

What type of hay would you recommend? Grass or more Oat? or is there some thing better for free feed option?

Thanks tons!!
 

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I would ask people that know about hay in your area, i'm in Texas and I feed coastal hay, tifton,.or Timothy. Sometimes a mix. But I always have mine on it 24/7.
I don't know what kinds are availably to you, or about the kinds that we don't have here..
I supplement with alfalfa, also so you may be able to up these. I like to hold back on upping feed or anything till it looks like just upping hay isn't good enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the speedy replies!! I'll confirm with the ranch to see how many flakes she is getting for sure!! and good call on the nutritionist! This is a good place to start ;)
 

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Thanks for the reply!!

How much weight is too much weight, too fast? Is 200 lbs in 3-4 months a reasonable augmentation? I'm all about adding MORE natural food into her diet.

She is stalled as she's such a gentle giant, the other mares in the mare pasture would probably run her into the wire--at the very least kick her butt. Very dominant females, but I do get out every day to round pen her and get her out. :D

What type of hay would you recommend? Grass or more Oat? or is there some thing better for free feed option?

Thanks tons!!
Grass is prefered in my area. Depends on what you have available. I feed grass hay in my area. A horse can loose 50 lbs in a hard weekend. It won't hurt to gain 200lbs in 3-4 months but it would be nice if you posted a picture to see if we see her looking differently.

Also make sure she gets plenty of exercise.
 

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As said, good amount of exercise. I had rescue that, gained weight but stopped after a few months. I startedworking him and he then filled out the rest of the way
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I live in Sunny California where Alfalfa, Grass and Oat are pretty common so we're lucky in that sense. I've uploaded some photos of her. The fuzzy ones are the pre purchase photos, the photo of her trotting in the round pen was taken last week. Less furry and less ribby so I know there's been improvement.

Ricochet Rosie pictures by pgboogie - Photobucket

I ride her at least 2-3 hours on Sunday during lesson time, and she gets taken out daily and I walk her around the barn on halter and lead and 4-5 days a week round penned for about 30 minutes. getting her good work, but not so much to burn off all her food.

Let me know what you think!! Thanks tons
 

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It wouldn't even hurt to maybe get in touch with a local rescue and ask for advice. They are usually experts in trying to put weight on horses in any and every condition. And they should be a great resource in the future if you're ever needing additional help.

And welcome to the forum! =)
 

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It wouldn't even hurt to maybe get in touch with a local rescue and ask for advice. They are usually experts in trying to put weight on horses in any and every condition. And they should be a great resource in the future if you're ever needing additional help.

And welcome to the forum! =)
Very good advice, as far as I am concerned they are the "go to" resource on how to safely get a horse in weight. Those people deal with underfed horses all the time, especially here in Michigan where the local economy is pretty bad.
 

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I would opt for increasing her hay amount. 4 flakes just doesn't seem to me to be enough.

I don't think anyone else mentioned it but when was the last time her teeth were checked? If they are bad, it won't matter how much you feed her. She won't be able to chew it enough to digest it very well.

I know many people feed different types of feed or grain. Personally I like to use beet pulp. It is a step towards grain/feed but is a forage like hay. It doesn't put weight on too fast but does work well. I think what you want, 200 lbs in 3 or 4 months, should be doable. Actually I would expect it. Not seeing the weight gain in 8 months, I would have been changing something sooner.
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You have much feed advice here, so I won't add to that. I just wanted to say that I'd not be accepting the "your mare has to stay stabled because the others will beat her up" argument. If these people are taking your money I think they should be providing some grazing for you. A separate paddock with just one gentle companion shouldn't be too hard to arrange, even if it means sectioning off the big field the rest of the herd is in.

Time out grazing should be part of her recovery regime really.

My apologies if I've misunderstood what you said.

Good luck with her.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks all for the advice. I will also find out if there is a smaller area where she can graze comfortably without the entire herd on her back. She really is a big baby.

I really appreciate all the good advice everyone has given. Some good feedback for me and some action items for me on food and pasture turnout time!! I'm new to some of this but a lot of it really is common sense, so thanks all and I'll post pics of her in a couple more months! I'm really happy I was able to pick up a less fortunate horse as she's just a sweet sweet girl, good personality and has a sound mind. I'm working with her with my riding instructor and she's starting to feel much more confident under saddle. :) She's the best and I want to give her nothing BUT the best!!!
 

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Since a horse is a hind gut fermentor and oats are very high in starch you would be much better off with a product like Nutrena safe choice original (7% fat and 17% starch) or safechoice perform (9%fat and 20% starch) either of these feeds is at least half or more of the starch levels os oats. You can add a rice bran oil (triple crown) or a rice bran pellet (empower boost) to add more fat for temporary fixes until your horse reaches optimum weight. Alfalfa cubes (soaked) is also a good additional hay supplement to a hay program. Lots of smaller meals are better than big ones.
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welcome to the Forum. I am in the southern part of the Valley in Ca.
I would add Corn Oil. I use it for my sr horses on top of the LMF sr.
It helps keep the weight, has the calories. It really helps them out.
I also feed the All in one. I do dampen it with water. There is a product called Cool Calories. I used that for one starved rescue who loved it, the other did not like it. I also kept hay in front of the horse 24 / 7. Until they start to get piggy and use it for a toilet.
 

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She's the same age as my horse, and about the same condition he was when I ran into this similar problem.

What works for us was putting him on Triple Crown Senior. Now 11 isn't really a senior, but he's an extremely hard keeper. It has a high fat %, lots of vitamins and minerals, and paired with 24/7 hay, he has blossomed.

Check out FeedXL. It costs around $90 to join for a year, you can put in what your horse is getting and get a nice accurate approximation of what they're diet looks like and what you need to take away or add. I highly highly recommend it.

You can look at supplements, but a good feed with everything already in it doesn't require any additions. SmartPak is the Queen company of supplements and will help you with any questions.

Best of luck :) She will get fit and healthy. What has the vet said about her weight and diet? That's important too.
 
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I would get her teeth checked, and maybe even checked for stomach ulcers.

Some horses need the extra carbs that grain gives, I would really consider upping that along with her hay.
As for the winter, you may need to blanket.

My guy came in a similar condition, almost 9 months later, he is as fat as ever.
I had him on a round bale 24/7 with alfalfa supplements. He also received 3lbs of quality grain daily. Because I got him in November, I had no choice but to blanket him. By the end of the winter, he outgrew his blanket! :)

Wish you guys the best of luck! She's lucky to have such a caring owner!
 
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